Danny Welbeck is closing in on Arsenal return after nine months out
Comeback kid: Welbeck has been in lively form

By Dominic Toner

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is hopeful of returning from a long-term injury before the new year, according to a report.

The Telegraph claim that the 26-year-old has resumed training again and he is ahead of his rehabilitation schedule.

Welbeck was initially ruled out for nine months in May as he required knee surgery, but the Telegraph claims that manager Arsene Wenger may let him rejoin full training this month.

Arsenal have eight games before January 3 and could receive a huge boost if the forward returns to action during December.

Welbeck is likely to be eased back into action by Wenger and he will hope to get back into the first-team picture.

The forward has a decent record during his time at the Emirates, scoring 13 goals and supplying eight assists in 49 appearances.

The Gunners are hopeful of challenging for the Premier League title this season and will need their full squad during the season.

Alexis Sanchez has taken the role of central striker this season and has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions.

The attacker has been switched from a winger to a central figure and he has been thriving, while team-mate Olivier Giroud has also made some successful cameo appearances off the bench.

Summer signing Lucas Perez is yet to reach top form and is still adjusting to English football, meaning there is certainly space for Welbeck to fill.

Arsenal have progressed to their Champions League knockout rounds but were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night against Southampton.

Welbeck can be used as a central striker or has also been used out wide by Wenger in the past and will be a fantastic addition to the squad when he returns.

In other Arsenal team news, Wenger sent a message to the club’s fans after their cup exit.